He wanted to share his debut EP, “Love Italy,” which he co-produced and co-mixed with Shelly Yakus and which skillfully fuses rock with Americana influences. He is attempting to be a light in a world that is getting darker by the minute. Furthermore, he appreciates your consideration and time. Check out the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: I’m from Troy, New York – an hour north of Woodstock. From my first memories of hearing the vibrations coming from the speakers to my ears and carrying me off to another place… I was seduced by the exciting sounds of rock n’ roll. When I was sixteen my cousin Bob Boyer and I went to his friend Tim Lynch’s studio, The Recording Company, and we recorded a two-song demo (The Feeling and Drunk on Your Love). It was so amazing to have the opportunity at that age to record in a professional studio, and I’ve been recording with Bob and Tim off and on ever since. My family was (and still is) very supportive of my art – and I can’t thank them enough for that.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: I started guitar lessons at age 14 with my teacher Jim Corgan, but I’m not classically trained, don’t read music and never received a degree in music. I do wish I had learned to read it, as it would have made some things easier on this path. Instead, I focus on the fact that the artists I draw the most inspiration from – The Beatles and The Rolling Stones – didn’t do any of those things either. They are a constant source of inspiration for those of us who chose a different path.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW’?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: I have so many influences it’s hard to choose! The ones closest to my heart are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Band, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Beach Boys, Motown, Muscle Shoals, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bill Withers, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, The Wallflowers, Oasis, Third Eye Blind. Some modern bands I’ve been digging lately are Fruit Bats, The Sheepdogs, and Arcade Fire. The name… well it’s my name and The Reckless Few came about because it’s fun. It’s also a reference to my stage name from my late teens, “Louie Reckless”. The loose structure of the band was also inspired by John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: Rock ‘n roll…Americana? I don’t think we really fit into any particular mold, and there are so many subgenres – I never wanted to be cornered. Why limit yourself? Every band that I love and hold dear followed their own path. It’s all rock n’ roll… which may not be popular with modern tastes but I don’t share those same tastes.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as ROCK?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: I think that my development as an artist has come through the lens of being a fan and also from studying what I’m interested in. In music, I might be inspired by a specific songwriter, player, band, engineer or producer. In life, inspiration may come from history, art, architecture…etc. In my late teens you could hear the influences of Slash and Guns ‘N Roses, Motley Crue, Metallica. Then I rediscovered The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and The Band. I went through a period where I was listening to The Beach Boys a lot, too. The music that you are hearing is a combination of all of these influences plus whatever the rest of the band is into and what they are inspired by in that particular moment.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative, and entertainment?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: The Beatles were such a positive force and I think that they were able to show us the true potential of what art/music can do for the world. I was having a conversation with my wife Raeanne last night about George and The Concert for Bangladesh. Ravi asked George to help and he did. That’s where it’s at. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” as Ghandi said. I want to be a light. I want to help beautify this world before my time is up.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: We’re all just “Living in the Material World” (George Harrison). It all feels completely out of balance which is why we are just trying to get to Italy and live a peaceful life surrounded by all that beauty. I’m just gravitating towards things that feel right and trusting my intuition to guide the way. I don’t wish to be shackled to a desk job or settle for something that doesn’t bring me happiness. I trust in the universe and its blessings.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: I usually start these days by picking up my Taylor and just following my intuition. I try not to really think about it. Sometimes after I’ve worked on something I really like, that gets me excited, or if I want to hear it again then I’ll go back to it. I try to finish the bare bones of a song while I’m in that creative space. I also try to record it or I’ll forget it; I feel so bombarded today by life, the news, and technology. Sometimes melodies and lyrics come through, or sometimes I’ll be inspired by people or places, my espresso in the morning, or some L’aura or Sei (Chianti) at night. 😉
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: Anytime I’ve lost a loved one; It’s never easy, it’s always difficult. But sometimes I get to visit with their spirit in a dream which is always such a bittersweet thing. I have a new song about it that will come out on the next EP, tentatively titled “Once Again.” Shelly Yakus (Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame engineer who co-mixed and co-produced the Love Italy EP) had inspired me to write a song about a loved one who was sick and play it for them while they’re still here so they could enjoy it. Shelly has changed my life in so many ways and he always finds a way to pass on these pearls of wisdom for which I am eternally grateful. I would have never written that song if it wasn’t for him encouraging me to do so. THANK YOU, SHELLY! In 2016, I found out I was anemic and after some tests, found out I had a precancerous polyp in my colon that had to be surgically removed (I recommend that everyone in their 30’s get an endoscopy / colonoscopy.) It was the size of a golf ball! Thank God they caught it when they did or I might not be here. Around the same time the universe blessed me with meeting and falling madly in love with my wife, Raeanne. A year after my surgery, we traveled to Italy for the first time and a year after that, our son Leonardo was born. Then, in 2019 we got married at Querceto di Castellina winery in Tuscany! So, the universe had a different plan for me and I am so grateful to be able to experience all of this. One of my favorite authors, Stephen Cope, would probably say I’m following my Dharma and doing my life’s great work.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW: 2022 was a pretty incredible year. I started off connecting with Shelly Yakus and working with him on the final mix of Love Italy. Then, we went through the exciting phase of releasing the EP and all of the press that went along with it. And we finished the year traveling to Italy for the release day, meeting Italians and tourists on the streets and sharing the music with them. It was such an exciting and positive experience. Shortly after returning from our trip abroad I found out that legendary Rolling Stone magazine editor/writer Ben Fong-Torres had selected “Roma” to air on his hand-picked radio show on Moonalice Radio. It was like the cherry on top!